Paul Mason.

Paul Mason may have something here. What do we think?

Theresa May can let tower blocks burn, deport black British pensioners to Jamaica, make an almighty cock-up of the Brexit negotiations, and 35 per cent of the English public will still, happily vote for her.

Corbyn can be smeared by the right wing press as a Czech spy, a Russian stooge an IRA sympathiser or a closet anti-semite – but it makes little difference: a solid 35 per cent-plus of the electorate wants a left wing Labour government and understands that much of the tabloid media is peddling lies or distortions.

Between now and the general election, the Brexit process will either collapse or be concluded. The electorate that votes for the next parliament will know whether Theresa May’s giant bluff – refusing to say what form of exit Britain wants, in the hope that Europe will hand something to her on a plate – has worked or not.

I doubt it will work. Instead it looks likely that parliament – via the Commons and the Lords – will instruct May to seek a deal keeping Britain inside the customs union. Then, either May’s government would then fall, or we’d see civil war inside the cabinet. As a Labour supporter, for me that can’t come soon enough.

To win the next election decisively, Labour needs to win exactly in areas where the Ukip vote has shifted to the Conservatives: places like Walsall, Nuneaton and Derby. Such areas are often described as “pro-Brexit” areas – but it’s more complicated than that.

In left-behind, de-industrialised areas, Brexit was simply an expression of wider social attitudes: unsettled by high inward migration, turned-off by the cosmopolitan lifestyle of big cities, apt to call middle class people “luvvies” – as the Sun does every day – proud of their industrial past and determinedly patriotic.

Labour must offer the left-behind communities of Britain a comprehensive plan for economic revival. It must say: life in the 21st century will be cosmopolitan, hi-tech, global and socially liberal and we will plug your community into that life, through education, training and inward investment.

Source: Labour’s route to victory is to win in areas where Ukip has faded away


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